Have you ever questioned your cat's quirky behaviour?
The likely answer is yes, but the reason behind certain feline actions may come as a surprise and could change the way that you view your cat forever...
It's likely that you've noticed your cat kneading on soft surfaces from time to time, before settling down for a well deserved afternoon nap.
Is this a friendly massage session? Or perhaps they're just practising their bread kneading?
Sadly, neither of these answers are true - in fact, this behaviour is more habitual. Kneading involves the feline's claws extracting and retracting repeatedly, whilst moving their front paws alternatively up and down.
Originating from a cat's kitten-hood, kneading helps to stimulate their mother's milk flow during feeding time. This odd behaviour is brought into adulthood and is usually seen when a cat is feeling completely content - how sweet!
Purposefully Knocking Objects Down
Cats are skilful creatures when it comes to using their paws to manipulate objects. In fact, this physical trait is particularly useful for pouncing on and capturing prey in the wild.
It is common to see your cat's curiosity shining through in the form of batting and pawing at objects during playtime.
But, when a cat is kept indoors, this innocent behaviour can become quite troublesome. Many cat owners grow annoyed when their felines damage ornaments and knock fragile objects from high surfaces during what seems like deliberate naughtiness.
The truth behind their destructive habit actually is quite surprising: cats do this simply because they want human attention. Whether that be in the form of an assertive "no" or not, most pets aren't able to differentiate between good and bad attention, so this may be worth noting for next time...
It's no secret that headbutting is used as a form of communication between familiar felines, but why does this behaviour extend to humans too?
The answer to this is that your cat is simply asking to be stroked in a particular area - usually under their chin or behind their ears. Cats have learnt that repeating this regularly encourages their owner to stroke them in the places they love most.
Headbutting is reserved for a cat's closest individuals and it's also a way of them transferring their scent - they're basically claiming you for their own, so it's not all about them!
Winding Between Legs
A cat's strange way of communicating involves a raised tail upon approach and, if this is mirrored, it's on to the next step which involves plenty of flank rubbing and wrapped tails. This is almost a cat's way of carrying out a secret handshake, whereby a bond between the two is reinforced.
During this, felines also exchange scent through their skin which contains chemical signals. Cats also extend this to their owners. By depositing their distinct scent, they aim to encourage reciprocal stroking, which transfers the human's scent to the cat.
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